The campaigns for political parties to present to the electorates party candidates to fill elective positions in the 2019 general election will soon commence. The campaigns, an avenue to avail to the people the manifestos of various political parties, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the umpire’s seat, is expected to propagate campaign promises that will not cause chaos and acrimony, but serve as design that will not only enable a political party to clinch power but enhance rapid development after elections.
The political campaigns is part of approach to enable contestants interface directly with the voting community, particularly those at the grassroots. It is also a veritable tool that can be used by a political party or its flag-bearer to assess the level of acceptability or rejection as the case may be.
Ensuring a smooth campaigns require that all political stakeholders must put their hands on deck. Not just leaders of traditional institutions, religious heads also have alot to do by preaching peace and making sure that the followers shun crisis before and during the time of elections.
The appalling part of this mechanism is the way and manner politicians hijack the political campaigns to engage in diatribe against perceived political enemies. Rather than telling the voters what a party and its candidate will offer to better the lot of the people, when elected into power, ember of war is what mostly they fan.
The smear campaigns elude all level of sincerity of purpose and first puts the electorates at the vulnerable end. The assurances of empowerment, project initiation and completion is kept aside completely, meaning to fine tune the mindset of the electorates is needed to be said.
It is a hard fact that the issues of lack of basic amenities, youth empowerment, economic instability, thuggery, unemployment, among others need to be urgently addressed with sincere campaigns to proffer long lasting solutions. It is not about these only, the leaders need to be truthful to fulfill the campaign promises. It is also agreed by political stakeholders that the followers have a serious responsibility by holding accountable the leaders in any policy thrust.
No matter how it is, fact that the way and manner the campaigns are carried out by political parties have had alot to ponder. Needless to say that the approach to campaigns this days is not proper and commendable at all. The actors don’t dwell on issues, campaign of calumny takes the order of day.
Critical to such outings is that during campaigns, party men rely on issues that can discredit their opponents rather than telling the people what they can offer and how best best they intend to deliver it.
To that extent, cases of violence emanate and it becomes a tango between supporters of a party candidate against another. The burning down and smashing of houses and vehicles, as well as incidents of killings are harvest of some of the non-issues based campaigns.
Before now, if a political party embarks on campaigns, from every nooks and crannies, it could portray the delivery capacity of its candidate, and furthermore intimate the electorates on what the party stuck to offer to alleviate dampen conditions of the people.
Enumeration of executed projects, not elephants or paper projects, were used to be advertised. These are verifiable projects sited at various communities, both in rural and urban areas.
Today, it is quite obvious that the reverse is the case. Smear campaigns have taken the center stage. Defamation of character and denigration of image of political opponents reigns at peak. These shall continue to attract violence, chaos and until it is halted.
Under the pragmatic approach of issues based campaigns and project execution, the political actors can promote the strength of the candidates, and projects the party has influenced or executed in communities to better the lives of the electorates. There is no denigration. The obvious is put there for the voters to see. And as such, votes are canvassed without any iota of rancour. It is pertinent to observe and state that as the campaigns for the 2019 elections begin in ernest, it will be smooth for political parties to campaign on projects they have executed or the ones they have intended to achieve.
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